The Dirty Cheat Day

The Dirty Cheat Day

The Dirty Cheat Day

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  • February 8, 2016

Cheat day is the day people choose at some point during the week where it is all right to eat whatever the hell they want.

My question is, what’s so bad about your week?

Often, people will order the largest, dirtiest takeout they can find, just for the sport of it, and they won’t even skip the cinnamon sticks. What happens the next day? A painful food hangover.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t see a problem with eating pizza or cinnamon sticks. I see a problem with glorifying one day out of the week. It’s all right to eat a little bit of the food you wouldn’t normally eat, but overdoing it becomes an issue. Calling a day where you eat what you want a “cheat day,” and waiting all week for it, is like climbing a long, grueling staircase of hell just to get to this one day of heaven. Psychologically, it doesn’t make sense.

I don’t prescribe diets. I prescribe better eating habits. Once people learn how to eat better, they don’t feel deprived. When people feel deprived, they eventually crash and make bad choices. We only have so much willpower in the run of a day or even a week. When you wake up in the morning, you have a tendency to make better choices. As you approach evening, oftentimes the potato chips and impulsive online shopping are hard to avoid. At the beginning of the week, after a long period of rest, your willpower is higher as well. Approaching Friday, as we have all experienced, your willpower is not so strong. For more information on willpower, check out the following: limited-resource.pdf

If you restrict your diet and use food as a reward, you will never be able to resist the very things that are slowing down your progress.

From my experience, here’s what I recommend:

First, educate yourself on the reasons why you’re eating what you’re eating. For example, let’s take chia seeds. Sure they are neat, they gel, they look cool and you’ve heard they are full of Omega-3s. However, after a week or two, these unappetizing seeds are not so interesting anymore. If you knew that they are a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber that helps you to digest your foods better, the omega's have anti-inflammatory proterties which can improve overall health, and they are packed full of antioxidants which help reduce free radical damage in the body, then chia seeds added to your daily diet would become much easier to stay consistent with. You would be eating for health instead of for instant results. Results will come and stay only when your health is taken care of.

Second, eat bad food on occasion, not planned out once a week, once a day or every second day. Eat healthy most of the time, and then occasionally grab a muffin or partake in alcohol consumption. This way, you’re not saving everything up for one destructive day. I tell people that I eat healthy food most of the time and occasionally have something that I wouldn’t normally eat. Psychologically, that makes much more sense and you’re not forcing yourself into restriction. Third, don’t take a diet so seriously. One of the biggest factors of succeeding in long-term weight loss is stress reduction. If you’re going on these two to three week diets, statistics say you will not only fail, but you will create a lot of negative stress for yourself. Learn how to eat better and practice better eating habits. Relax and go for some crepes, eat a chocolate bar or even a pizza. Having a treat now and then is not going to kill you if you are active and you eat well most of the time.

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Josh Stryde B.Kin (Hons), CSNN Holistic Nutrition Consultantâ„¢, Precision Nutrition Level 1, PTS

Josh has been working and educating in the fitness Industry for over 10 years. He has seen his greatest success by arming his clients with knowledge and allowing them to active role when working towards their goals. Without knowing why you are eating the way you are eating, or why you are following a particular workout routine it becomes difficult to stay consistent.

Spartan Team Canada 2017
Team PVL 2017/2018
20+ OCR podium finishes


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